Superintendent given high marks by BOE

Southington Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connellan

The Southington Board of Education conducted their annual evaluation of the Superintendent of Schools, Timothy Connellan, on Thursday, Sept. 27. The evaluation was based on Connellan’s performance in the district from July 1, 2017 through the close of the 2017-2018 school year.

During the evaluation process, the board evaluated the superintendent on the following standards: board-superintendent relations, community relations, personnel relations, educational program, business matters, professional leadership and personal qualities.

The Southington BOE determined that Connellan met, or exceeded, expectations in all standards. The board recognizes and values Connellan’s leadership in all areas of his work and that he has accomplished the yearly goals set forth for the 2017-2018 school year.

“Mr. Connellan’s leadership is weaving 21st century skills and whole student learning into the fabric of our school community,” said Brian Goralski, BOE chair, in a press release. “The board appreciates Mr. Connellan’s calm, focused and professional practice as Superintendent of the Southington Public Schools. The board looks forward to continuing our work with Mr. Connellan.”

Connellan’s final update of goals, which was distributed to board members, described work in five categories: teaching and learning, facilities, technology, school safety, and security and budget-fiscal.

The superintendent described a multi-year process for transforming the teaching and learning process in Southington with a focus on 21st century skills and personalized learning.

“Given what we know about the importance of capacity building, we concentrated our efforts this year in solidifying and expanding the base with our entire administrative leadership team as a whole and extended the professional learning of our much smaller core team whom we dubbed ‘Team 21,’” wrote Connellan in his update. “Eventually Team 21 will encompass the entire administrative leadership team and will stretch farther.”

He stated administrators are feeling “more and more confident in their understanding of these concepts.”

This past school year, Connellan and the BOE engaged in discussions with community groups and members to create a ‘Vision of the Graduate” based on input from the community. The final version was adopted in June. Connellan wrote in his report that he will continue work with elected officials and community members.

In the category of technology, Connellan said the district views technology in two distinct ways: instructional, and information. Both segments contributed to the work necessary to implement the requirements of the student data privacy act. For the first time, the SPS network was equipped with tiers of access. The result was a more effective and efficient use of the bandwidth available across the district, he said.

Connellan reported the Southington Police Department has been generous with their time and extremely helpful with their expertise. Meetings were held with each building administrator to review and update school safety and security plans. SPD was proactive and there were a number of changes and improvements to the plans as a result. Additional work with SPD will be planned through the ongoing interagency school safety committee.

SPS and the BOE faced a difficult budget process last spring, with state budget reductions that Connellan said severely limited the district’s ability to continue improvements in a number of areas. Ultimately, the partnership with town officials resulted in some restoration of funding for the 17-18 and 18-19 fiscal years.

“Overall, it was a challenging year from a fiscal perspective, but a productive year for our students,” said Connellan. “I look forward to continuing this very difficult and complex, but incredibly rewarding work. I am so pleased my efforts and the efforts of all of my colleagues are devoted to serving the children and families of this community.”

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